Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Day 5: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 5 - Lens 80: The Lens of Help
Deep down, everyone wants to be helpful. To channel this spirit toward engaging gameplay, ask yourself these questions:

Within the context of the game, who is the player helping?
The game is competitive and can only have one winner, so in one sense the player is only helping themselves. That said it is often the case that players need things from each other and take cooperative actions that benefit the other player. That social calculus in the game is pretty bare and brutal, and that's intended. At the same time the stories that come out of the game are often about how two players teemed up to do something... usually hurting another player of course. 
Can I make the player feel more connected to the characters who need help?
I might add the ability to offer an ally token outside of a challenge... that might unbalance the game, or it might add the ability to incentivise interesting player behavior. It's something to think about. 
Can I better tell the story of how meeting game goals helps someone?
Given that the game is competitive I think I've gone about as far as I can in terms of framing the competition in a larger shared goal (making the city fall) and fostering positive interaction among the players, allying... 
How can the helped show their appreciation?
Since the game is social there are no rules around the kind of concessions a player can ask for or receive for their help. I feel like allowing things like group combats with allies sharing warriors or allowing the transfer of soldiers would just imbalance the game though.